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Tupper village board gives Trustee Haji Maroun send-off at his last meeting

David "Haji" Maroun in October 2016 (Enterprise photo — Carrie Gentile)

TUPPER LAKE — Wednesday was village Trustee David “Haji” Maroun’s last meeting in his term on the board.

Maroun has moved out of the village within the town of Tupper Lake, so he is ineligible to run for a village position again, but he said he has his eyes set on running for Franklin County sheriff if current Sheriff Kevin Mulverhill does not seek reelection.

He was given a send-off by fellow board members, and he reflected on his time in village government and was applauded by village employees — in-person and over the phone — before he took his final action, motioning to adjourn the meeting.

His successor, Jason McClain, will be sworn in for his first day on the board Dec. 1 — the same day as the organizational meeting.

Mayor Paul Maroun thanked Haji for his eight years on the board, adding that the two are cousins.

“We’ve been friends. We’ve disagreed on some issues, but overall we’ve agreed, and he’s done a very good job for the village of Tupper Lake, for the youth of Tupper Lake, for the sports people, especially down at the Keepers of the Diamond and the ball fields and the parks. We’re going to miss him on the board.”

Paul and Haji both said they will continue working together on the baseball fields down at the Municipal Park. Last summer Haji spearheaded an effort to bring an Empire League professional baseball team to town. Though the coronavirus kept the River Pigs from playing at the park this year, he hopes to see them do so next summer.

“You learned well. Your father would be very, very proud of you.” Trustee Leon LeBlanc said. “I’ll tell you what: Sitting in these seats is nothing easy. You make some good enemies, you make some even badder enemies, you lose a lot of friends, but Haj, congratulations.”

Trustee Clint Hollings-worth told Haji it has been a pleasure to sit next to him at board meetings in the years they served together. Hollingsworth was reelected for another term in the Nov. 3 election.

“We’ve obviously known each other for many years, but I feel like I’ve really got to know you on the board,” Hollingsworth said.

“Haji, I am going to miss you on the board buddy,” Trustee Ron LaScala said. “I really have enjoyed working with you. I’ve enjoyed our battles as well as our triumphs.

“I know during this time of COVID you’ve really pushed hard, even pushed me to push the mayor more to get Little League (youth baseball) this year. … You’ve done a great job for this community, and no one can ever take that from you.”

Haji said his experience definitely was not easy but that he enjoyed it.

“Once you get on here, you’ve got to understand you’re going to get enemies and you’re going to get friends, but it’s a 50-50 thing,” he said. “Am I relieved I’m leaving? Yeah. But I’ll miss it.”

He said he plans to be a voice for the Municipal Park and looks forward to it being busy in the coming years.

He said he was on the board for some of its largest recent projects: the construction of the emergency services building, construction of the village garage and renovations at the park.

“It’s not easy making decisions, but I’m proud of them,” he said.

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